The Alligator Dance
Brenda Spalding, author
Saving wildlife is an everyday, ever-changing challenge. Early summer is nesting time for the alligators in Florida’s Manasota State Park. Head Ranger Seth Grayson takes a group of visitors on a two-mile hike to Gator Hollow, a gathering place for hundreds of gators. Once there, the group makes a horrible discovery. A young man’s partial remains from an alligator attack are found along with several nests empty. It’s evident. Poachers have invaded the park. Grayson, a Seminole Indian, values his heritage but chooses to live in the white man’s world. Alligators and all wildlife have special significance for him. He knows he will need help to catch whoever sent this young victim to his death. Officer Liz Corday of Florida’s Conservation Commission arrives to help catch and prosecute the poachers. A devoted officer, her trust issues with men pose a possible relationship barrier between her and Seth. Tracking down the head of the huge interstate poaching operation, Seth and Liz risk all, even their lives, to bring these criminals to justice. Seth goes undercover at the Myakka alligator Farm, hoping to learn more about the operation and find evidence Liz can use to bring charges against the poachers. Meanwhile, Liz is harassed and threatened. A large rattlesnake is found in her vehicle, and a dead raccoon is left dripping blood on the hood a night later. Things get complicated, as they find there is more on their mind than catching the poachers but don’t know how far to go with their feelings.